3rd Annual AFP Defending the Amer. Dream Summit, Wisconsin — Final Report
Well, I am back home from attending the AFP Defending the American Dream Summit. The speakers were inspiring and the panel on which I sat during one of the break out sessions was really fun.
A word about what this whole thing was is apropos here. It was attended by some 4,000 folks, all regular every day folks, most from Wisconsin. Not all were necessarily AFP members as it was open to the public. A lot of different tea party groups also had representatives in attendance. There were some few vendors of buttons, T-Shirts and the like, but selling things was in no way the main point of this thing. The speakers and the message was preeminent. This was a true grassroots gathering.
The announcement was made that AFP Wisconsin had grown to 58,000 Wisconsiners and ranked as the second largest grassroots political organization in the state second only to the Wisconsin teachers union.
I guess my only complaint was that they tried to shoehorn so many speakers all into the 10AM to 11:30 AM slot. Here is the list of speakers we heard from…
- Mark block- State Director of AFP Wisconsin
- Tim Philips- National President of AFP
- Tim Nerenz- The Oldenburg Group
- Lord Christopher Monkton- Former advisor to Lady Margeret Thatcher and global warming skeptic
- J.B. Van Hollen- Wisc. Attorney General
- Grover Norquist- Amer. for Tax Reform
- Phil Kerpen- AFP
- Paul Driessen
- Eric O’Keefe- Sam Adams Alliacne (Chicago, Ill.)
- Linda Hanses- Wisc. Prosperity Network
- Steve Moore- The Wall Street Journal
- Debra aller- Chairman and CEO of Jockey Inat’l (Underwear manufacturers)
- Niger Innis- Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)
- John Fund- The Wall Street Journal
- Dr. Chris Magiera- Healthcare (Bucky to the Rescue)
- Dr, David Gratzer- Canadian Doctor against Obamacare
- Judge David Prosser- Wisc. Supreme Court Justice
- Herman Cain- Author, Radio Show Host
OK, seriously? All these speakers in an hour and a half? Naturally it ran over time. Still, they were nearly all riveting. So, the time went pretty quickly. But I do wish there weren’t so many as it was a tad much. As to the speeches, taxes, global warming and Obamacare dominated the discussion.
Also I was a bit disappointed that they were never able to get a table set up for me to live blog from. I guess they had trouble getting the union electricians, the Teamsters and other union layabouts to get in gear to get it all set up. Ah well, maybe next time.
After lunch (or rather as we ate), Michael Reagan, author and talk show host as well as son of Ronald Reagan, gave a nice address. Here I have to relate one of his stories about his dad as it was just so “Ronnie.”
When Mike was 8-years-old, he told us, he wanted a bigger allowance. Father Reagan gave him $1 a week and Mike said it was hard to keep up with all the other Hollywood kids that got far more than that. So, he asked his dad for more money. Instead of saying yes you can have it or no you can’t, Michael told us that dad Ronnie gave him a 20 minute lesson on Midwestern work ethics and federal tax policy! Ronald told him that he was taxed at nearly 90% and once a president gets into office that cuts his tax rate then Mike would get more money in his allowance. Michael Reagan laughed that once Ronnie’s tale was done, Michael almost wanted to give back half is $1 to his dad because of the unfairness of the tax! But, once JFK got to office and cut the personal income tax back to 75%, his dad gave him the raise he promised. From then on it was $5 a week. That whole story just seems so much like Ronald Reagan and it warmed everyone’s heart in the audience.
I was part of the panel for the first breakout session after lunch. It was the RightOnLine, New Media Discussion Panel. Alongside me was Curt Mercadante of Merc Strategy Group and leading the panel was AFP’s RightOnLine Director Erik Telford.
We discussed how to use email, blogs, Google, FaceBook and Twitter to get your message out there and to get your friends, neighbors, family, and associates involved in the process locally. I was gratified that we had some really great questions from the audience, too. It seemed as if we had about half the audience with active bloggers and half that were trying to figure the whole new media world out. A good time was had by all.
Then I hit the road to get back so I didn’t stay for the 5PM closing reception.
Anyway, I have to thank Mr. Telford for inviting me up to the summit. I enjoyed my overnight trip to the Wisconsin Dells.
Warner Todd Huston
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com, BigJournalsim.com and all Breitbart News' other sites, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, and many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs across the country to discuss his opinion editorials and current events as well as appearing on TV networks such as CNN, Fox News, Fox Business Network, and various Chicago-based news programs. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston and follow him on Twitter, on Google Plus , and Facebook.